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Very Best of Fats Waller

4.9 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 7, 2000
$5.94 $1.97

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 7, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: RCA
  • ASIN: B000050G8C
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,914 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Fosdick Fong on August 8, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Normally when you want to buy an album of songs recorded before the World War II, you are torn between its comprehensiveness and sound quality. CD's that give well-remastered sound quality are normally too short to really cover "the best" or "the essentials" of the artist's works while full length CD's are normally either too expensive or not well-remastered. This reasonably-priced CD is an exception. It contains over 72 minutes of a total of 24 well-remastered tracks including many Fats' signature works like "Your Feet's Too Big", "All That Meat and No Potatoes", "Handful of Keys", "I'm Crazy 'Bout My Baby" and "Two Sleepy People". The inclusion of two different versions of "Honeysuckle Rose" on this single CD is really a surprising bonus. I spent much time comparing and evaluating Fats Waller's CD's and I finally picked this one for it's both well-priced and well-remastered and that it contains all the songs I want. Some tracks still contain noticeable background noise but it's certainly immaterial when you compare to the rarity of this compilation. If you can't get this excellent CD, try RCA's "The Very Best of Fats Waller" (released 2000) and Stardust Records' "Fats Waller: The Best of the War Years" (released 2002). These two shorter alternatives are not as comprehensive as this one but they are also good compilations. Try your best to get this very best compilation and you won't regret!
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Format: Audio CD
This compilation is, in effect, a reissue of earlier Bluebird compilations; nevertheless, it is a fine selection of Thomas Waller. It's as good as the Time-Life LPs in presenting Waller, who is unfortunately dismissed as merely popular a pianist or quaint curiosity. There wasn't anyone writing popular lyrics in the 30s and 40s that had his gift for invention and for melody, to say nothing of the command of his playing and singing. And that certainly includes the Gershwins. Nor was there anyone as prolific--Fats tossed away pop masterpieces (or sold them to hacks for ready cash). What I love about him is the sense of whimsy and the mother wit and satire in the face of the purely commercial aspects of Tin Pan Alley and American racism of his time. He inverts the crass nonsense that the label foists on him and makes it his own with the irony that comes from genius beset by idiocy and the joy that comes from genius celebrating its gifts. This compilation of Bluebird material is representative, and it's a worthy introduction to one of America's musical geniuses. Despite Ken Burns' virtual dismissal, you can't get away from Fats. Just listen to Prairie Home Companion. Better yet, listen to this CD. Go find some others. Read Eudora Welty's short story called "Powerhouse." Then hear Pops play Fats.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Fats Waller was one of the great artists of American popular song between the two world wars, and he ruled in at least three arenas: songwriting, pianoplaying, and singing. This CD is the best one-disc collection of his work, with a good mix of his best work in all three areas. About the only track I'd like to see that isn't here is "African Ripples," but it does have "This Joint Is Jumpin'" "Viper's Drag," "Porter's Lovesong," "Handful of Keys," and one of the two really great versions Waller did of "Honeysuckle Rose." Although it says "Collector's Choice," it's an album for enjoyment as much as completeness.
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By A Customer on April 12, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Fats Waller was a brilliant stride pianist, fun singer, and all around great entertainer. This nicely-priced disc features a great selection of colorful, lively tunes with excellent sound quality. The recording dates range from 1929 to 1943.
The music of Fats combines astounding jazz virtuosity with a fun, swingin' mood that even the musically illiterate can enjoy. Just check out the jam-session version of Honeysuckle Rose and then the solo piano version of the same tune to witness the breadth of the man's talent. Waller was a great composer as well, and the first eleven tunes featured were either authored or co-authored by Fats. Some great jazz names show up throughout the course of the disc, including Benny Carter, Slam Stewart, Bunny Berigan, and Tommy Dorsey, and the performances within never result in anything short of pure aural joy. We are also treated to four solo pieces by Fats, played with such richness and exuberance that his piano sounds like an entire band. Not only is this a collection of important music by a true jazz giant, it also makes a great soundtrack for your hipper shindigs. Check it out.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
THis is a must if you only get ONE CD of Fats Waller. Though it lacks the beautiful.."I'll never smile again" which is one of his most touching and (to me) signature works. When I was a small child my father got a record called: "Fats Waller plays and sings" and we wore it out. I still have it. Most of what was on that record is here on this CD except for that gorgeous "I'll never smile again" piece. INSG , IS on "the Complete Recorded Works 1940-42, Vol 6 which I highly recommend too if you are a fan and do not have that collection. The remastering on VBFW and INSG is VERY good I think.......he was wonderful.
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